You know what we could probably use in 2020? Some Don DeLillo. Lucky for us, Scribner has just announced plans to publish DeLillo’s next novel, The Silence, on October 20, 2020.
The publisher describes it as “a novel about five people gathered in a Manhattan apartment on Super Bowl Sunday 2022, when an unknown catastrophic event renders the digital world silent. With echoes of the sudden, isolating effects of the Coronavirus, The Silence is a powerful work about what it means to be human from one of the most highly-decorated, dazzling, and essential voices in American fiction.”
“In The Silence, Don DeLillo conjures a catastrophe with uncanny parallels to this moment,” said DeLillo’s longtime editor and Senior Vice President and Publisher of Scribner, Nan Graham, in a press release. “Always prescient about events that transform our culture, he completed the novel just weeks before the advent of Covid. We need his language and his humanity now more than ever.”
DeLillo himself said that he began writing the novel in 2018. “I started with a vision of empty streets in Manhattan. The idea of the silence grew from sentence to sentence, from one chapter to the next.”
Putting aside my general feeling that this sounds like a pleasant fantasy novel (Super Bowl Sunday is always a day when I want the digital world to go silent), I can’t wait to see what one of the masters of the modern condition has come up with.